Thousands of divorce applications are received and granted by the court each year, but the decision for this is taken depending upon the evidence presented in the court. More importantly, it is your responsibility to prove that the marriage no longer exists and is dissolved on a permanent basis.
Both the husband or wife has the liberty to file for a divorce. The spouse filing for the application of divorce will be called as the ‘petitioner’ going forward. The party in opposition will be known as the ‘respondent’.
You can prove the dissolution of your marriage by relying on at least one of the five legal facts mentioned below:
- Irrational behaviour of the respondent
- The respondent has committed adultery
- If your spouse deserted you for more than two years
- If both parties are living separately for a period of more than two years and the respondent consents to the divorce
- If the period of separation of the spouses is five years or more
Legal Reasons for a Divorce
When the respondent has caused the marriage to break down through their actions, it is attributed to their unreasonable behaviour. Unreasonable behaviour includes domestic violence, mental or physical cruelty and abuse. Other issues under unreasonable behaviour include preventing a partner from leaving the house or not letting them interact with friends. If either party disputes unreasonable behaviour, then the petitioner is responsible to provide valid evidence to the court. Evidence under such circumstances includes witness statements and medical reports.
One in seven divorces are filed on account of adultery. Adultery is when the respondent has an extra-marital sexual relationship which is the core factor responsible for the disintegration of a marriage. Before you file for adultery divorces, make sure that your petition indicates that the couple can no longer live together because of the adultery. This petition should be filed within six months of when the adultery is said to have occurred.
Evidence will be required to prove the occurrence of adultery along with the information of the time and place which is to be presented in the court. A divorce will be approved only when the court is fully satisfied that adultery has been committed. This usually happens if the respondent admits to it and it being the root cause of breaking down the marriage irrevocably.
If the divorce is uncontested in case of adultery, only supporting statements and details are required. If the respondent denies having committed adultery, then proof will be needed.
Divorce under desertion is filed if the respondent has left his/her spouse alone continuously for a period of two years or more. This can be quite difficult to prove in the court if the respondent decides to challenge the case. The intention behind desertion can be proved if, for instance your partner expressly says that they are leaving you before walking out. On the other hand, if your partner is working abroad continuously for a period of two years or more, verifying desertion can be very difficult.
In the second instance, a divorce could be filed on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour as you can dispute on the basis that your spouse left you for an overseas job without any type of consultation from you. This is the main reason that divorces are rarely filed on the basis of desertion. Instead, the petitioner seeks different grounds for filing a divorce.
Separation is similar to desertion the only difference being it is mutual and for a period of at least two years or more. The court will accept this as a satisfactory reason enough to dissolve the marriage but requires consent of both the parties.
In case you and your spouse have been living separately for a period of five years or more, you can file for a divorce without the consent of the other party. Even if the respondent disputes the divorce, it is likely to be rejected by the court.
It is important for both parties to safeguard their individual interests as the entire process of divorce rolls out. Figure out how to make a Will at home as its a cost effective option and also because you’ll not have to dish out additional money to get that sorted.
Getting divorced is difficult, so ensure that you are doing everything in your power to smooth things out to the best of your abilities.